SALT LAKE CITY (AP)—Deron Williams atoned for a rookie mistake with a clutch shot.
Just 7.3 seconds before he banked the game-winner off the glass, Williams had fouled Sam Cassell, who made both free throws to complete a frenzied comeback for the Clippers.
“I fouled him and I had to make up for it,” said Williams, who finished with 10 points and seven assists.
The Jazz beat the Clippers for the 32nd time in the last 33 meetings in Utah — barely.
Cassell nearly won it for Los Angeles, but his half-court shot at the buzzer bounced off the front of the rim.
“They’re a great team. It was only a matter of time before they made a little bit of a push. We did a good job of holding our own,” Boozer said.
Elton Brand scored 14 of his 31 points in the fourth quarter and led the Clippers to a late rally that tied it, but Los Angeles never held a lead.
“We have to play the way we played at the end of the game,” Brand said. “We’ve got to start the game off with a sense of urgency and intensity.”
The Jazz ended the Clippers’ three-game winning streak and pulled within 2 1/2 games of Denver in the Northwest Division. They also made up for an embarrassing 15-point loss to Charlotte at home two nights before.
“We played a lot harder. That’s the main thing,” Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said. “That was interesting that we did that.”
Vladimir Radmanovic scored 17 points and pulled down 13 rebounds, Cuttino Mobley had 12 points and Chris Kaman returned after missing two games with a sprained ankle to finish with 10 points and eight rebounds. Corey Maggette, back after missing 39 games with a foot injury, scored 12 points in 25 minutes for the Clippers.
After allowing Utah to score the first seven points of the final quarter and take an 84-71 lead, the Clippers slowly rallied and set up a thrilling finish.
“They play really hard and do a lot of good things out there, and we just didn’t counter it,” Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy said.
The Clippers did counter it, but not quite enough.
Radmanovic made a 3-pointer that cut Utah’s lead to 98-97 with 1:27 remaining. The Jazz answered with Okur’s backboard-shaking, two-handed dunk off a pass from Williams with 1:08 remaining.
Maggette got the Clippers within a point again on a reverse layup, but Okur answered that with a 3-pointer that got the sellout crowd roaring with the home team up 103-99. But it wasn’t quite over.
Brand got the Clippers within two again with 27.5 seconds left and Utah could have run the clock to less than 4 seconds. But Devin Brown tried a layup, which Brand stuffed, and the Clippers got the ball back with 11.9 seconds left.
Williams fouled Cassell, who made both free throws, but atoned for it at the other end when he dribbled to the top of the lane and let a shot go just past the free-throw line. Andrei Kirilenko nearly tipped it, but didn’t touch it, and the ball bounced off the glass and through the hoop.
“We brought it tonight and we’ve got to keep doing that the rest of the season if we want to make the playoffs,” Boozer said.
The Clippers and Jazz meet only three times this season. This was the only game in Utah. … Utah had just one turnover in the first half and six in the game. … The Jazz struggled from the free-throw line again, making 18 of 29. … The Clippers had 14 turnovers.